Misadventures in GeckoLinux :(

Mmmmm, GeckoLinux. Sounds good: A distro based on openSUSE but not focused on only the KDE desktop but offering desktop environments from all over the place …

Orca’s a simple girl, she sees Mate, she jumps on it!

In fact we get eight (8) different desktops to chose from, which is nice. Guess which one your editrix choose? 🙂 Oh, and two update models; the usual Static, based on openSUSE Leap 42.2 and with a periodic release cycle and a Rolling release, based on openSUSE Tumbleweed, and the much preferable choice … at least in my mind.

Anyway, the difference between the openSUSE mothership and Gecko is that it supports lazyness. All the media codecs and non-free drivers for your Nvidia GPUs are already integrated into the system. Sounds good, right? Maybe too good?

Gecko’s boot screen on the left, on my old and trusted Lenovo MiníMe

Kidz, let me tell you a story. A true story! Not a fable, not a fairytale. And it doesn’t have a happy end. 😦 It’s a very short story, a story of failure and personal misfortune. I’m now writing on this story already longer than  it took in real time. I booted and rebooted MiniMe a couple times but every time it gave me some error message and refused to even start the usually great Calamares installer. 😦

Then I tried the only other icon on the screen, the Language Installer, but that wasn’t what I wanted and it lead me nowhere. It’s just a tool to add your prefered language to the setup … and didn’t work anyway.  😮

Installation of the Language installer failed shortly after I took this snapshot. 😦

See, in this case it wasn’t my impatience to blame, but my obvious stupidity and lack of expertise and clue about Linux. I’m pretty sure GeckoLinux will find many happy new users to help spread the word of openSUSE and its philosophy. I bet most won’t have any problems installing the distro onto their hardware or virtual machines.

In my case it’s probably some hardware incompability between my Lenovo and GeckoLinux. No clue how that could happen since MiniMe is probably the most tolerant machine I’ve ever owned and happily munches away on everything I throw at it.

Well, except openSUSE/GeckoLinux. 😦 And now I remember I never had any luck with installing the lizardish OS. Hmm, do I see a pattern emerging here?

Gecko’s homepage

Yesyes, I know I should prepare MiniMe better, delete and reformat the harddrive before putting a new distro on it. And yes again, I’m impatient and not half as geeky as I want to appear … BUUUT usually stuff like that ain’t necessary! Having the old system still competely installed shouldn’t stop the installer from starting. Once you booted the computer and see the live environment you’re running your hardware completely in the RAM, so your installed system won’t be touched until you wipe it during installation. So why clean it beforehand?

These are the little things that make Linux such an unsolvable puzzle for many wannabe new users coming straight from Windows or Mac. Unfortunate stuff like what happend to me cuts many many blooming love affairs with Linux short even before they begin. And that is a shame since Linux generally is fukn great. Even the best.

The openSUSE website makes already clear this ain’t for dough-eyed n00bs. Go away!

But as long as people might stumble about distros like openSUSE and /or GeckoLinux, or the notoriously “uninstallable” Debian, Gentoo, fedora or ArchLinux and try to use it as their first system, Linux’s fate as a OS for everybody doesn’t look promising.

That’s why Orca and nearly every user with a modicum of experience are telling you to use LinuxMint, Linux Lite or similar Ubuntu-based distros as your first system. They aren’t just failsafe but all in all great usuable systems to get lucky with.

And that’s also why my adventure in GeckoLinux ends right here and now. There are so many great Linuxes available, why would I waste my time with something that doesn’t even wanna be on my computer in the first place?

So don’t let this be a warning to you to NEVER INSTALL LINUX but just a cautionary tale to better choose the right distro.


  1. Hi. I haven’t had a good experience with GeckoLinux either. I just tried the KDE rolling version. It installed without a problem except for the sound for some reason. I have a Gigabyte Brix barebonbes PC system I bought a couple of years ago. It did not come with an operating system. I have 7 different distros on it. I change them out regularly. It’s all Intel except for the sound which is Realtek if I remember correctly. Gecko is one of just a few that did not have the sound working out the box. The big issue I have is I cannot update the system. I get numerous error messages when it tries to update. The internet connection is working. I can browse the web without a problem. I don’t think I feel like bothering with trying the forums. It looks nice though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Sleepy! \o/
      Sorry to hear about your bad experience with the Lizard. Maybe the whole SuSE environment isn’t really up to the task of delivering a modern, painfree OS for real human beings? Why don’t they just borrow Mint’s fantastic hardware detection, like so many other distros do these days? Nowadays even the naturally bitchy Arch has become a tamed beast and is a pure joy to install and use, so why should we bother with a freakish outsider system like SuSE/Gecko?
      Congratz on your Brix, I’m kinda jealous now. Should be a super tolerant machine to put all kinds of Linuxes or BSDs on. Why you have 7 different distros on yours remains a riddle tho. 😮


  2. Hi orcaflotta. I love distro hopping. I keep Peppermint OS on there. I change out the others when there’s a new version I would like to try. The Brix is a great little machine if you get a chance to get one.

    Liked by 1 person

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